Yorktown, Virginia, a historic village in York County. It lies on the York River 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Richmond. Yorktown is included in Colonial National Historical Park and is the site of the British surrender that virtually ended the Revolutionary War. In 1781, a British army of 7,500 under Lord Cornwallis was penned here by 16,000 American and French troops led by George Washington, the Comte de Rochambeau, and the Marquis de Lafayette. A French fleet under de Grasse prevented reinforcements from reaching the British and blocked their escape by sea. After the Americans and French stormed British redoubts (enclosed earthworks), Cornwallis surrendered on October 19.
Yorktown was founded in 1691 as a port and is the site of the first customhouse in America. In the Civil War, Yorktown was besieged by a Union army under Major General George B. McClellan in 1862 and was evacuated by the Confederates. Yorktown National Cemetery is here.